If you are headed for divorce, perhaps one of the greatest assets that
you and your spouse have is the marital home. Naturally, one of the first
things that you will think about is, "What should we do with our
house?" It depends.
Each married couple has a different situation in regards to their home
and financial circumstances. Should you sell the house and split the proceeds?
Is there even enough equity to do that?
If one of you wants to keep the house, think, is it financially feasible?
What some divorcing couples forget is that once they're living apart,
they have to pay for two households, which usually causes a financial
strain on the family initially.
If you have to pay
spousal support to your ex, can you still afford to continue paying the mortgage on your
sprawling home? Or, would a small 2 bedroom or a condo make more sense?
If the court orders your ex to pay you spousal support and you want to
keep the home, can you qualify to refinance the mortgage in your name
alone? Can you afford to keep up the payments?
Sometimes in a divorce, the spouses will fight over the marital home like
it's some sort of prize. Then, the spouse who gets the house soon
realizes that they can't afford the payments, maintenance, and upkeep,
and they want to sell, but there's zero equity in the home and they're stuck.
In many divorce situations, the best way to make a clean break is to sell
the marital home and split the proceeds, but that is not always the most
practical, considering the housing market.
If there are enough
marital assets, or you both earn a decent living, it may make complete sense for one
of you to keep the marital home and buy the other spouse out of their share.
Cutting the Financial Ties
If your spouse decides to keep the marital home, we advise against keeping
your name on the mortgage, because once divorced, it's not wise to
have financial ties to your ex.
Your ex could be the nicest, most ethical human being on the planet, but
if they become injured or ill and unable to make the payments, you will
be responsible for paying the mortgage, regardless of what it says in
your divorce decree.
What if the house is upside-down or neither of you can afford the big house
payments? Another option is to rent the house out, and remain co-owners
on the property until the real estate market heats up.
What should happen to your house during the divorce? For the guidance you
our Nassau County divorce lawyer for a